In need of a little stay-cation? Luckily, you can transport your tastebuds to the sun-kissed shores of the Mediterranean with this quick and simple Vegan Tzatziki recipe! My 6-ingredient, dairy-free tzatziki dip is a yummy plant-based alternative to the classic Greek sauce and is perfect for dipping, spreading, or dolloping on all of your favorite dishes.
If you, like me, are on a serious Mediterranean kick lately, you need to check out some of my other plant-based flavor boosters. Check out my vegan recipes for garlicky aioli, nut-free pesto, lemony herb butter, and creamy whipped feta next!
Creamy plant-based yogurt takes center stage in my homemade tzatziki sauce recipe, dancing harmoniously with zesty garlic, fragrant herbs, and refreshing cucumbers. It's so tasty, you can eat it by the spoonful!
Better yet, my copycat Trader Joe’s vegan tzatziki recipe takes just 5 minutes of active time. It's the perfect last-minute addition to boost any meal to stratospheric new flavor heights.
As if that weren't enough to convince you to make a batch, this vegan tzatziki sauce recipe is also packed to the brim with plant-based protein. A condiment that helps you reach your nutrition goals? Check!
So, what are you waiting for? Let's whip up a big bowl of this easy tzatziki recipe and let the dipping and dolloping begin.
What is Greek tzatziki?
Tzatziki is a classic Greek sauce-meets-dip that's made with a base of thick, creamy Greek yogurt mixed with crunchy cucumbers, spicy grated garlic, and a sprinkle of fresh herbs. I consider this creamy, dreamy deliciousness the culinary equivalent of a refreshing swim in the sparkling blue waters of the Aegean.
Now, this magical concoction is not only versatile but is also incredibly flavorful. It's the kind of sauce that can turn a simple veggie stick into a transcendent moment, or transform a humble falafel into a memorably delicious meal. Whether you're dipping warm pita bread into it, slathering it on your lunch wrap, or using it as a dip for crispy french fries (try it!), tzatziki brings a burst of Mediterranean sunshine to any dish.
As promised, you only need a handful of ingredients to make this dairy-free tzatziki sauce. Here’s what to grab:
- Vegan Plain, Unsweetened Greek-Style Yogurt - I’m legitimately obsessed with Kite Hill’s yogurt, especially because it’s a serious source of plant-based protein. Feel free to swap in your own favorite Greek-style vegan yogurt or Skyr. Alternatively, if you can’t find any, use plain vegan yogurt and strain it for 12 hours to achieve the perfect consistency.
- Cucumber - I prefer using thin-skinned English cucumbers (the long, skinny kind that come shrink-wrapped in plastic) because they don’t require any prep. If you have conventional cukes, simply peel off the waxy skin and discard the watery seeds before grating.
- Garlic - I personally prefer the bite of fresh garlic here, but you’re welcome to use jarred minced garlic or garlic paste to save time if you prefer. Alternatively, you can use garlic powder (about ¼ teaspoon for each clove), but the flavor will be much milder, like cooked garlic.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - If you’ve got some, now is the time to bust out your high-quality, cold-pressed finishing oil. If not, regular ol’ EVOO will do the trick.
- Fresh Herbs - Dill is traditional for making cucumber tzatziki, but I also love the cooling flavor of mint. Lemony parsley is another great option. Feel free to mix and match to your heart’s content!
- Salt - Adding some seasoning helps to waken up all the other bright flavors of this non-dairy tzatziki sauce.
Hand grate the cucumber with a box grater on the coarse side.
Place the grated cucumber in a clean kitchen towel or paper towel, and squeeze out as much of the water as possible.
Transfer the grated cucumber to a mixing bowl, and add the remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl with the grated cucumber.
Stir until well combined. Add the tzatziki to an airtight container and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, or until ready to serve.
numerous ways you can adapt it to fit your needs. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
- Try adding a roasted red pepper into the mix for some sweet, smoky undertones. Roast a red pepper on the grill, remove the skin and seeds, and finely chop it before blending it inwith the other tzatziki ingredients.
- Add some heat. Try using a few shakes of cayenne pepper, a dash or two of hot sauce, or even a finely chopped jalapeño pepper for some fiery goodness. Adjust the amount of spice to your desired spice level.
- Brighten up your tzatziki by adding some fresh lemon zest and lemon juice.
- Experiment with different herbs & spices. Consider adding a pinch of dried oregano, thyme, basil, earthy cumin, or smoky paprika to create a fun and flavorful variation.
Turning a regular tzatziki recipe vegan isn’t hard. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Squeeze the grated cucumber as hard as you can. Much like making hashbrowns from fresh potatoes, it’s essential to remove as much liquid as possible to ensure a nice thick sauce. I like to use a clean kitchen towel, place the grated cuke in the center, then wrap it up and wring it.
- Let the vegan tzatziki chill for at least an hour. This gives the flavors time to meld and also helps the sauce set up.
Uh-oh! Sounds like you forgot to squeeze all the extra liquid out of the cucumbers before you started.
Luckily, there’s an easy fix — simply line a mesh strainer with some cheesecloth or a clean towel and set it over a bowl. Spoon the loose tzatziki in, then lightly cover it with plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge. Within about 12-24 hours, the excess liquid should’ve drained into the bowl, leaving you with perfectly thick and creamy plant-based tzatziki.
Traditional tzatziki is made with traditional Greek yogurt, which is made from dairy and is therefore not vegan. However, by making the simple swap of using vegan Greek-style yogurt, we’re able to attain all the deliciousness without any of the animal products!
You sure can! However, it's important to note that the texture of tzatziki may slightly change after freezing and thawing. The vegan yogurt in this tzatziki recipe can sometimes become slightly grainy or separate when frozen. This is normal and can be easily fixed by giving the thawed tzatziki a good stir or whisk to bring it back to a creamy consistency.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Still on the fence about whether or not to make this delectable vegan tzatziki? You shouldn’t be! Aside from tasting like a Mediterranean dream, this recipe is also:
- Quick & Easy - Grate, measure, stir, and wait. You’ll only need to spend a few minutes of active prep time, and the flavor payoff is huge!
- High-Protein Condiment - If you’ve been trying to incorporate more protein into your diet, this lick-the-bowl-delicious dip is a great place to start.
- Versatile - Use it as a sandwich or wrap spread, dip your veggies, french fries, or chips into it, dollop it on your favorite grain bowls, thin it out and use it as a creamy salad dressing… the sky is the limit!
- Made With Only 6 Ingredients - And several are vegan pantry staples, so you might not even need to go to the grocery store.
- Perfect for Meal Prep - Once made, this tasty vegan yogurt sauce will keep well in the fridge for 5 days. That means you can make it on Sunday and enjoy flavor-packed meals all week long!
Let me know if you try out this Tuscan bean salad, and if you do, I would love it if you left a rating and review below! Make sure you are also following along on Instagram and Pinterest for more food inspiration.
Looking for other dips and spreads to whip up for your next party? Try these: